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Interview with Thor Halvorsen, Deaf Pagan Activist

Thor Halvorsen explains the challenges of Deaf Pagans

By Galina Krasskova

I first met Thor (and yes, that’s his birth name, folks) at the “Changing Times, Changing Worlds” conference this past November. He was teaching a fascinating class on ASL (American Sign Language) and Paganism and after meeting him earlier in the day and discussing his work and some of his ongoing community concerns, even I, in no possible way anything approaching a morning person, had to take his 8:30am class the following morning. It was an enlightening experience.

Part of reclaiming our sacred traditions means reclaiming language. Most of us are engaged in this process without even being consciously aware of it. Do you call yourself a “Witch,” a “Heathen,’ a Pagan?” Well, in doing so, you are reclaiming a sacred identity, using words that at one time were very much the religious equivalent of the ‘N-word.’ You are reclaiming concepts and practices long condemned not just to historical oblivion, but to excoriation. It is a radical act and by using these words we remind ourselves, every single time we consciously name and identify ourselves thusly, that we are in the process of restoring something sacred and essential; that our Gods and our ancestors and the traditions surrounding them have not been forgotten. It’s a good and necessary starting point, but there is much more to work to be done.

Read the original article at: Patheos

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